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Moneyballing My Way To A Champions League Title in Every European Nation Part VI: Portugal


shaunvamos
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Aside from the expected result against Real Madrid, we were perfect. We just needed Valencia to lose to Real Madrid and we would secure an unlikely 7th and a spot In Europe. But was it enough?

 

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Yep!

Valencia lost 3-1 to Madrid, so the impossible comeback is complete. here's hoping I'll be given the money to upgrade suitably next season.

 

 

 

Best XI

 

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Javi Galán  -  Iago Couñago  -  Santi Mina

 

 

 

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Record Breakers

 

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Progress

 

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Preseason 2027

 

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Pretty satisfied with these games, keeping it close against strong European opposition.

 

 

 

Transfers (In)

 

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I didn't have much to spend, so went with a couple loans. The deal for Krawczyk wasn't 28.5M either, it was something like 5 million plus instalments. I don't like how they include future payments in the initial fee. But it is very much a new look first XI. I've also tried to go with more of an U23 spending policy, to develop players and then move them on for profit.

 

 

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This is our starting back 3 for the season. All are improvements on the previous back 3, but I'm most excited by Krawczyk. A French wonderkid with a tonne of growing still to do, he's going to be our crucial anchor. 

 

 

 

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Nabbed from Betis for just over 10m including instalments, Alvaro looks like he'll be a strong RWB, which is where he'll play.

 

 

 

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He may be a loanee, but Karamoko is already an outstanding player with the physical gifts to shred opposition defences. he'll be our shadow striker.

 

 

 

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Partnering our homegrown wonderkid up front will be the Portuguese born, Dutch raised Ricardo Agrela. All we need to do is get the ball to him and he'll probably finish at a great clip.

 

 

 

Transfers (Out)

 

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Got rid of a few players who didn't meet the nationality requirements, and one went for really good money, allowing a second dip into the transfer market.

 

 

 

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I think the team was predicted around here last season, but let's see if we can get top 4 with a new look squad and a full season under the new manager. Let's go!

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August 2027

 

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Could not have asked for a better start. We blew Real Madrid away in the first half and then held on for dear life to snatch a result. A draw in Bilbao and a win over Sevilla means we have an undefeated start. We're comfortably through to the Conference League groups, with an excellent group:

 

 

 

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Pretty cool to see a team from Gibraltar here, as well as 2 Kazakhs, Georgia and Montenegro.

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September 2027

 

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So we can beat Barcelona, Real Madrid and Sevilla, but can't beat Osasuna? Go figure. We're off to a strong start in the Conference League too, it's definitely looking good.

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October 2027

 

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Inconsistency strikes, as we can't beat some weaker teams, but we're still in a strong position. The Conference League continues to be a romp.

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Posted (edited)

November 2027

 

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We've caught a rhythm, and we're in third, behind surprise frontrunners Mallorca and Sociedad. Ream Madrid, Atletico and Bilbao aren't far behind, but Barcelona have really dropped the ball. Valencia are even in the relegation zone! We're also into the 2nd knockout round of the Conference League as we ease through matchdays 4 and 5.

Edited by shaunvamos
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Posted (edited)

December 2027

 

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Our run continues, and some sort of normalcy has resumed, with Madrid and Sevilla tied at the top. We're not too far behind.

 

 

 

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Looks like something to look forward to.

 

 

 

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Counago has had a great year, and was crowned the best player in the world under 21.

Edited by shaunvamos
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January 2028

 

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Out of the cup, but less fixtures at this stage of the season can only be a good thing. The cream is really starting to rise, as we are the only abnormal team inside the top 6 now.

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Posted (edited)

March 2028

 

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A good month, but a depleted side lost to Atletico, and we're in 4th. It looks like 4th is the worst we'll finish though, barring disaster. We’re also through to the Conference League quarter final, where we’ll play Spirting Lisbon. 

Edited by shaunvamos
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Posted (edited)

April 2028

 

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Disappointed to be out of the Conference League, but we made up for it in the league, and we're in the Champions League next year. It's also pretty tight at the top, a 3 way battle for second, But Sevilla can’t breathe easy just yet.

Edited by shaunvamos
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Our offence ground to a halt, worn down by the longevity of the season, but our defence stayed firm and we ended with a win. Champions League football next season, I'm not sure what to expect but if we make the right additions to the squad we could make the knockout stages.

 

 

 

Best XI

 

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Javi Galán  -  Théo Krawczyk  -  Ricardo Agrela

 

 

 

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Record Breaker/Awards

 

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Progress

 

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Spain loses a Champions League spot :(

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1 hour ago, shaunvamos said:

Spain loses a Champions League spot :(

Who gained it?

And why were Valencia already relegated in the previous months view when they still had a mathematical chance of survival?

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13 hours ago, Pompeyboyz said:

Who gained it?

And why were Valencia already relegated in the previous months view when they still had a mathematical chance of survival?

France gained I believe. That's a great spot, and I don't have a good answer for it, especially when I went back to a previous save file with one game to go they were no longer shown as relegated.

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So maybe it was just a graphical glitch?

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2028 Preseason

 

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An up and down preseason, mainly due to not being able to play our full strength side for various reasons like fatigue and unavailability.

 

 

 

Transfers (In)

 

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On the face of it it looks like a busy transfer window, but most of the guys I brought in are depth pieces to cover injuries and player fatigue so we don't drop results to smaller teams.

 

 

 

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Julien Jan, the goalkeeping wonderkid from Lorient that I actually paid about 8m for, will step in as our starting 1. According to the formulas he's not as good as our previous starter, but he's got plenty more room for growth so I'm throwing him straight in. He seems competent enough, but we'll see what happens.

 

 

 

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After a solid showing for us last season, Anthony is back on loan from PSG at CB.

 

 

 

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Initially loaned as a backup CB, Xisco Roig might just be the most well rounded 16 year old I've ever seen. He has all the attributes to be a strong Segundo Volante, and that's where he'll play. He was too young for me to buy him outright, but Leganes have given me an optional 1.4m future fee should I take him on permanently. At this point that offer seems to good to refuse, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

 

 

 

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The final new member of our first XI is Ruben, who will play at Shadow Striker. He's already had an incredible journey at just 21. He started off at non-league Spanish team Llanera, before Santander picked him up on a free. After a season and a bit Napoli paid 875k for him, and now he's playing in La Liga. 

 

 

 

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8th again, but I think we can build on 4th and maybe try top 3.

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August 2028

 

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A nightmare run of fixtures to start the season, and it doesn't get any better as we have Barcelona next. At least we get all the hard fixtures out of the way early.

 

 

 

 

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We were the last team draw, and it got very nerve wracking the last few groups, especially group G. we end up in potentially the easiest group of the lot, except maybe Group C or D.

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September 2028

 

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An extremely busy month, but a pretty successful one after the Barcelona game. We had a stressful game in Amsterdam as 4 goals were scored in the final 10 minutes, 3 of them scored by Ajax. But we've turned around the tough start.

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October 2028

 

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A mixed month, as we lose to bottom placed Huesca in a bizarre turn of events. Our bad run against Portuguese teams also continues with the loss to Benfica.

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November 2028

 

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Benfica do the double over us, but we qualify for the knockout rounds after thrashing Ajax. Our form in the league is encouraging too, with a chance to end the year in a European place.

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December 2028

 

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We finish the first half of the season in a great spot, with some leverage on Bilbao and Atletico and a shot at passing Villarreal. It's going to be an exciting second half!

 

 

 

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There are no easy teams when you get to the knockout stages of the Champions league, and ours is no different. I'm just hoping to keep the scores respectable.

 

 

 

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Given the quality of players we've brought in, I'm pretty optimistic about this intake.

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January 2029

 

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Lost two games in a row to madrid, but had huge wins over Atletico and Bilbao which shocked me. The only issue I'm having is Villarreal who refuse to stop winning!

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February 2029

 

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Smashed by Real Madrid in the cup, but we beat Barcelona and are part of a tight 3 horse race for second place. Our time in Europe also appears to be over as we travel to Old Trafford needing a win.

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On 03/01/2022 at 22:55, shaunvamos said:

France gained I believe. That's a great spot, and I don't have a good answer for it, especially when I went back to a previous save file with one game to go they were no longer shown as relegated.

 

I am going to ask the obvious question, what on Earth happened to Valencia to go from near Europe to explosion in 2 years

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Nice story, I'm following!

Just an idea for the future : instead of starting a new save, you could retire, create a new manager with low skills and continue the old save! So you would not be picked by a big team, but will start on a low level, as expected.

But it is your career and you choose :) 

 

Good luck with Celta!

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On 05/01/2022 at 13:13, Shadaza said:

I am going to ask the obvious question, what on Earth happened to Valencia to go from near Europe to explosion in 2 years


That's another good question, and looking back it seems that it was always coming. They finished 14th in 21/22, and haven't finished higher than 8th in this save. They've sold a whole bunch of their decent players for good money, but just haven't really replaced the talent they lost. They probably won't come back up to La Liga next season either, they're 9th in La Liga B :(  

 

 

19 hours ago, bsanchezb said:

Nice story, I'm following!

Just an idea for the future : instead of starting a new save, you could retire, create a new manager with low skills and continue the old save! So you would not be picked by a big team, but will start on a low level, as expected.

But it is your career and you choose :) 

 

Good luck with Celta!


Thanks! I do like your idea, I did something similar in my previous save, but I think I like the idea of having real players to sign for as long as possible, as newgen players may remove immersion the longer the save goes. But I think in future I'll just manage the team predicted last in the lowest division of each country.

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March 2029

 

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Predictably out of the Champions League, but we continue our unbeaten run in the league as Barcelona show the first signs of cracking in the 3 horse race for 2nd.

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2029 Youth Intake

 

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Moussa Sinaba 3A  -  Brais Lafuente 3B  -  Nuno Teixeira 3C*

 

This is a great intake! Despite the promising tag on Lafuente he has a terrible personality, but I'm most excited about Moussa Sinaba. He's already over 70 rated in 3 positions (CAM, ST and LWB). He's going to be the one to watch for sure.

 

 

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Forgot to mention that the youngster we have on loan from Leganes is the number 6 best young talent in the world right now. The best part? We can get him for 1.2m based on the future fee clause :D 

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Wow! Sinaba is just a brilliant! Not the best personality so, but a good mentorship should fix it.

I believe you can start giving him some minutes already now.

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April 2029

 

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A pretty easy month, apart from the Villarreal game, but we won that, and a Champions League spot is all but guaranteed. We have a difficult final 3 games in Sevilla, Sociedad with a slightly easier Betis sandwiched between. Second place is close to reality too.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, bsanchezb said:

Wow! Sinaba is just a brilliant! Not the best personality so, but a good mentorship should fix it.

I believe you can start giving him some minutes already now.

Mercenary isn't the worst personality either, but his determination of 12 is quite good. He's not quite ready for first team minutes just yet, but he's already scored 5 goals in 3 U19 games (including a hattrick on debut) and been called up for Spain at the U20 World Cup. I think we have a budding superstar :D 

Edited by shaunvamos
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Sevilla flogged us, but we end up taking 2nd quite comfortably. Atletico Madrid came from nowhere to take 3rd, and Barcelona, Villarreal & Sevilla take the remaining European spots. This team just keeps getting stronger, all while paying next to nothing for our new players.

 

 

 

Best XI

 

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Javi Galán  -  Ricardo Agrela  -  Théo Krawczyk

 

 

 

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Record Breakers/Award Winners

 

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Progress

 

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2029 Preseason

 

Transfers (Out)

 

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Faced with a really small transfer budget this season, I decided to do a but of a clean out to gain some more funds. The biggest and most controversial sale was Javi Galan to Juventus. He's made 287 appearances for Celta, a club legend, and made his Spanish debut at 33 thanks to his success under this new system, but at 34 he's not getting any younger, and he was the top wage earner by a long shot. With a heavy heart, it was time to let him go. After some fiddling around with the budgets I was able to get around 40m to spend. Did we use it wisely?

 

 

 

Transfers (In)

 

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I think we did. The Palomares deal cost a fair bit of money, but half of that is in instalments.

 

 

 

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After spending two season on loan with us, Anthony finally joins us permanently. It's also not very often you can get a wonderkid from PSG for only 450k!

 

 

 

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Iago is our Libero in the middle of our back 3. There's no real weaknesses in his game, and he returns to Spain after a 3 year stint in Germany.

 

 

 

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Jimenez can't really defend, but it's attacking attributes I value as he starts at LWB. At 8m we may have overpaid a little, but he has the tools to prove me wrong.

 

 

 

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Palomares was initially brought in as a Shadow Striker, but he has all the right attributes to be an Advanced Forward. The finishing may not be up there, but he'll probably be an assist machine.

 

 

 

 

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Honourable mention goes to Franco Fernandez, who won't be a starter but he's got excellent attributes for someone who was undiscovered in Argentina before we came along. With Spanish as his second nationality, it'll be interesting to see how he develops with us, as he's still got plenty of potential.

 

 

 

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Our best preseason yet, including an entertaining 3-3 draw with Liverpool that needed a stoppage time equaliser from the Reds. 

 

 

 

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Still predicted 8th, but I'd like 2nd again. Could we perhaps push for 1st?

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August 2029

 

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A  mixed start, and I learned my lesson about going too attacking against Barcelona. Back to positive we go then.

 

 

 

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We're in a tough group, but I think Roma and Celtic are beatable. Group A and B are probably the groups of death.

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October 2023

 

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Another unbeaten month domestically, but we've already lost touch with Barcelona. Pretty happy with the draw to Bayern too, even though we out xG'd them by one, but there's no stopping Haaland in this game.

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November 2029

 

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We can't stop the Haaland juggernaut, as he bagged three of Bayern's four goals, but a win over Roma means that we're in a good spot for knockout qualification. We were also perfect in the league, but we were expected to win those.

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December 2029

 

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We end the year 3rd, with some breathing space to 4th but a bit of catching up to do at the top. We swept away Celtic in Glasgow to qualify for the knockout stages again.

 

 

 

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We get a favourable draw, up against a side we only lost 2-1 away to 2 and a half years ago. We're much stronger now, so I think we could push them.

 

 

 

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Another strong intake preview.

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January 2030

 

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A strong month, with the only losses to teams above us. Our dreams of winning the league this year are over already. We got revenge on Atletico by winning the Super Cup, but I'd rather the league.

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February 2030

 

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A busy, but 100% successful month. Wins across three competitions, we've shortened the gap to the top 2 while pulling away from those under us, and we head to Dortmund with a 2 goal lead for a spot in the last 8.

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March 2030

 

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We stumble slightly, and it looks like it'll be 3rd place for us. Real Madrid have been quite disappointing.

 

 

 

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I would've liked Inter, but there are no easy draws here. We'll see how we go.

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April 2030

 

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We've dropped a few results, and if it wasn't for that we would've been 2nd as Atletico Madrid have fallen away. In more positive news, we have one foot in the Champions League final after an incredible performance at home against City. Could this be the year? The other semi is Bayern against last years champs Manchester United, so probably not.

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May 2030

 

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Finished the season comfortably 3rd, and it looks like Real Madrid won't be playing in Europe next season, an absolute travesty. There's only one game left this season, and it's the Champions League final against Manchester United.

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Against all the odds, playing with 10 men for 35 minutes, we've won the Champions League. And that means with a a slight asterisk, the Spain chapter of this save is done!

 

 

 

Best XI

 

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Fran Beltrán  -  Théo Krawczyk  - Ricardo Agrela

 

 

 

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Record Breakers/Award Winners

 

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Progress

 

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We also end this chapter with Celta Vigo as the most reputable club in Spain.

 

Next stop: Italy!

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Part III: Italy

 

 

 

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My club in Italy will be US Grosseto, a club from the beautiful Tuscany region. I decided that instead of applying for jobs and potentially wasting in-game time I'll manage the team predicted last in the lowest playable division. Italy has multiple lowest divisions, but I picked Grosseto because they have the best starting facilities. I have no idea about financial power, but this club has had serious financial issues in the past, being forcibly relegated a few times in the last 20 years. They're also a club that has never made it into the Serie A, with their highest finish being 6th in the Serie B in 2009. So there's plenty of history to be made here for sure.

 

 

 

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It's a pretty decent starting lineup, with 3 loanees from Serie A and 2 from Serie B.

 

 

 

 

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The setup I'm running. Border nations San Marino, Austria, France, Slovenia and Switzerland are made playable as they will be where we'll be sourcing a lot of our players from. As well as Italy of course!

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Why not adding Croatia as they are technically a bordering nation separated only by the Adriatic Sea, or is that not counted?

Did you only allow the British Nations and Ireland as acceptable while managing Curzon Ashton?

Afterall you did allow Morocco while in Spain

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  • shaunvamos changed the title to Moneyballing My Way To A Champions League Title in Every European Nation Part VI: Portugal

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